Another Amazing Year!

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Originally Published Summer 2013

The numbers are in for the 2013 OCHEC Home Educators Conventions in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, and, once again, almost six thousand homeschoolers attended workshops, shopped for curriculum, and fellowshipped with one another.

The OKC and Tulsa convention committees and hundreds of volunteers selflessly logged in thousands of hours. Their labor of love helped hundreds of families find the courage and resources to begin their journey of discipling their children at home. Thank you!

Several themes emerged from our workshops and from conversations among attendees.

Relationships are more important than academics.

We were reminded that reading, writing, and arithmetic are important, but not as vital as faith, hope, and love.

We are free to think and teach “outside the box.”

We were reminded that children have different learning styles and there are many teaching methods. Our child’s experience should not be limited to what we experienced in public school.

The legal battles are not over.

We were reminded that Oklahoma is the freest and best state in the US to home educate, but threats to our freedom continue to crop up. Equal access laws, if passed, will bring registration and regulation. We must remain vigilant and unified in our opposition to legislators who want to open public school activities to homeschoolers. We also need to be aware of the Common Core requirements coming soon and the impact they may have on us.

Every convention has a special moment. For me, it was when a young mom whom I have known since her childhood saw me, gave me a hug, looked me in the eyes, and declared, “We are going to do this!” It reminded me of the mixture of joy, fear, and determination that Susan and I felt years ago when we decided to take the life-changing step of faith to home educate our children. If you have made that decision, here are some suggestions for the journey…

Be a family first.

Educating children is just one function of the family. We are to experience and share all aspects of life together as a family.

Love your spouse.

Give your children the security of knowing that Dad is crazy about their mother and vice-versa. Outside of faith in Christ, it is the greatest gift you can give your children. If your marriage is suffering, fix this first before you begin to educate the children. Let them see your willingness to lay down your lives for each other.

Join a local support group.

Find a group of like-minded parents for fellowship and strength. There is a list of groups in the back of this magazine and on our website.

Seek out a veteran homeschool family

whom you respect and ask them to mentor you. Visit the OCHEC website and browse through the resources provided there and the workshop archives from previous conventions. Find a helpful topic and order the CD. The reason we make them available is to encourage and equip you.

In Christ, Jerry

BTW—Due to the growth of the Tulsa convention, we have decided to move it from a mid-week to a weekend conference in 2014. Stay tuned!

Thank you:

Hats Off! Salute! Many thanks to the volunteers without whose help conventions would not happen! Below is a partial list of many of the young people and adults who have the heart-felt gratitude of the OCHEC board of trustees, the OCHEC Convention Committees and homeschoolers all across the state of Oklahoma.

If you volunteered and your name is not on the list, please accept our sincere thanks and our apologies for an incomplete list. Several of these volunteers actually worked at both conventions!

OKC Volunteer List

Miriam, Gillian & Conner Anderson

Kelly Baker

Sam & Yvonne Bass

Bonita Baxter

Christina Baxter

Kerri Bazzell

Jana Belcher

Charles, Melissa, Renae & Jennifer Bender

Blake Bennett

Carrie, Elizabeth & Samri Bertrand

Bobbi, Ethan, Elijah & Aiden Brady

Suzanne Breshears

Carle Brocksmith

Cindy, Hannah & Kara Bunch

Adam Cassada

Kim Childers

Christy & Cassidy Clagg

Kristi Coday

Stella Cox

Bridgette Crocker

Lori Crone

Karen Cuellar_Alan & Stacey Danielson

Alexis, Rebecca & LaDawn Davis

Johnny Dean

Noah & Roy Deering

Jodi Deeters

Sydney Del Rosario

Toni Dennis

Dilys & Taryn Donohoo

Bob, Michelle , Rebecca & Aaron Dugas

Valerie, Brandy & Matthew Ecton

Andrea Edmonds

Stephany & Silas Elliott

Jonathan & Anna Engle

Jennifer & Koby Estes

Kristi Fairchild

Kay & Sarah Farmer

Mitzi Flynn

Leasa, Mark & Colin Forbes

Kristy Gamez

David Gardner

Jhansi Garnett

Kristin Geddes

Mercedes Gelnar

Valerie Gelnar

Daviana Gelnar

Sandrs Gonzales

Melina Gordon

Heather & Jonathon Gosz

Rebekah Gschwandtner

Deanna Hamilton

Evan Hamilton

Jason & Julie Hamman

Amy Hanel

Niah & Heidi Harris

David & Jan Harrison

Wayne, Michelle & Elliott Hendricks

Jonathan, Lisa, Justus & Jerod Hill

Polly & Charlie Holt

Christine Hooks

Wendi Howard

Aaron Howell

Paul & Kim Huffman

Kerri & Carrington Jones

Jamie Kraft

Dawn, Matthew & Joshua Kreger

Rebeka LaCombe

Jon & Carol Leeth

Braden, Thomas, Jared & Heather Lewis

Seth Lippert

Vickie Loemker

Kayla Lloyd

Liz Mallett

Tiffany Martin

Suzy McCracken

Tamiko Mitchell

Jacquelyn Molnar

Katie Montgomery

Deb Morris

Krystin Morris

Janetta Morton

Brian & Nannette Mueller

Jenelle Nation

Amanda Nix

Addison Oliphant

Ryan & Mary Orland

Katie Palmer

George & LaTosha Parrish

Kimberly Pelletier

Reanna Perry

Justin Phillips

Brendan & Jennifer Polliard

Savannah Polson

Krista Ranck

Marsha Reed

Katy Shackelford

Ramier Shaik

Margaret Shrock

Jamie Sikes

Renee, Zachariah & Bridgette Smith

Chloe Stokes

Debbie Sutter

Emily Swafford

Lindsey Swartz

Joyce Thornton

Angelica Vasquez

Josh Wagner

Angie & Austin Watters

Dana Webber

Tammy Wentzel

Sharon Westmoreland

Gabby Whittaker

Sam Whittaker

Lydia Williams

Anna Willman

Alicia Wilson

Barbara, Dick & Colton Wilson

Jessie “Alyson” Wilson

Jessica Witt

Rick & Anita Witt

Summer Wood

Pamela & Samuel Woods

Natasha Wynn

Jennifer Young

Tulsa Volunteer List

Ben Anderson

Jenny Anklam

Susie Baxter

Tricia Bell

Heather Benzel

Bronwyn Blount

Dustin Boyd

Diane Brown

Bridget Burritt

Joni Chambers

Susan Collier

Hunter Cormier

Linda Dimiceli

Jennifer Duncan

Mary Erb

Cim Fowler

Robyn Gomez

April Gonzales

Sabrina Harlow

Kelly Huckaby

Rebekah Jordan

Ronee Jordan

Mike Kirchmann

Nawon Kwon

Marilyn Mason

Angela McAlister

Baylen McCord

Charlene McCoy

Amanda Michael

Sheila Pinkston

Lynn Rigney

Diana Sharpe

Mary Smith

Murray Soodsma

Stacy Starling

Paige Steeley

Clarissa Wilson

Hannah Wilson

Tom Wilsterman

Monty Woods

Rhonda Yohanan

Thank you! OCHEC would like to thank the following people and organizations for their generous support of the 2013 Oklahoma Homeschool Conventions:

Tulsa Conv. Committee

Janice Ashley

Todd & Kerri Bazzell

Clint & Robyn Bishard

Shelley Boland

Carla Brueggen

Cheri Burt

Jerry & Susan Chrisman

Kay Close

Kathy Curley

Don & Sandy Fairchild

Debbie Firestone

Tamara Gelnar

Lloyd & Heather Grissom

Ron Hollis

Marcus & Lois Hulings

Mike Irwin

Marilyn Mason

Cindy Nicolai

Sam & Tina Oliphant

Tim & Ana Osborn

Dawn Osborn

Roxanne Parks

Patrick & Tracy Phillips

April Reeves

Paul & Valerie Rose

Tammy Slack

Cynthia Tibbitts

Clydene Williams

Dan & Dana Wilson

Natalie Wolf

Special Thanks to

Terri Brown

Victor Salvidar

OKC Conv. Committee

Todd & Wendy Abner

Faithann Basore

Todd & Kerri Bazzell

Jana Belcher

Carrie Bertrand

Carla Brueggen

Lori Coodey

Jerry & Susan Chrisman

Michelle Dugas

Don & Sandy Fairchild

Tamara Gelnar

Lloyd & Heather Grissom

Marcus & Lois Hulings

Mike Irwin

Bill & Deanna LaPach

Cindy Nicolai

Sam & Tina Oliphant

Roxanne Parks

Patrick & Tracy Phillips

Jenny Ran um

Amanda Reeve

Brandi Rego

Mary Shackleford

Paula Smith

Lori Williams

Celia Wilson

Dan & Dana Wilson

Special Thanks to

Terri Brown

Victor Salvidar

Sandy Cole

OCHEC Phone Team

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